More - PR3605 .M6 M5 1820

52 ENGLISH OPINION are no offensive descriptions of vicious manners, it seems to be because they were not understood to be vicious and if gaiety of spirit seems to conceal from the writer the complexion of his own morals, gaiety of style seems almost to make the reader lose sight of the charac- ter of the company in which he is pass- ing his time. In fact, the delineation of these characters consists rather in a mor- bid insensibility to sin, than in an ambi- tious display of it. The slight veil thrown over corrupt manners by decency ofexpression, seems the effect of some re- mains, not of principle, but of good taste. It is the cool-bloodedness of a heart stagnated by long habits, of impurity ; for while the passions are inflamed by criminal indulgencies, the sensibilities of the soul are chilled. The mind insensi- bly loses that delicacy of perception which nicely distinguishes not only the shades of evil, but the very existence of the distinction between vice and virtue. This deadness of principle, and liveliness Ni